Just an hour from Istanbul, Alaçati on Turkey's Izmir peninsula is the bolthole of choice for the capital's cool crowd, with labyrinthine lanes where hip cafés spill out alongside antique shops and artisan jewellers.

Boutique hotels abound, but the best is the sophisticated Alavya. Six historic townhouses frame a pretty lawned courtyard with a stylish pool and lantern-strewn fig trees that scent the air like a Diptyque candle.


Rooms are rustic and romantic but still chic, dotted with artwork from the owner's collection.

The pace of life is slow - wake up late to just-baked bread, homemade jams and local cheeses, served wherever and whenever you want.

Relax by the pool to chilled tunes, have lunch at the excellent bistro bar Mitu, or take a yoga class in the on-site studio.

Don't pack the heels - Alavya is all about laidback luxe, but you'll leave feeling that little bit cooler.

GO: A double room costs from £140  per night; alavya.com.tr. Turkish Airlines (www.turkishairlines.com) return flights start at £187.

WOW FACTOR: Losing an entire afternoon in the arty shops on Haci Memis street.

FLIGHT TIME: 3 hours, 45 minutes